Habitual Offenders: A True Tale Of Nuns, Prostitutes, And Murderers In Seventeenth-century Italy

Hardcover | May 3, 2016

byCraig A. Monson

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In April 1644, two nuns fled Bologna’s convent for reformed prostitutes. A perfunctory archiepiscopal investigation went nowhere, and the nuns were quickly forgotten. By June of the next year, however, an overwhelming stench drew a woman to the wine cellar of her Bolognese townhouse, reopened after a two-year absence—where to her horror she discovered the eerily intact, garroted corpses of the two missing women.
           
Drawing on over four thousand pages of primary sources, the intrepid Craig A. Monson reconstructs this fascinating history of crime and punishment in seventeenth-century Italy. Along the way, he explores Italy’s back streets and back stairs, giving us access to voices we rarely encounter in conventional histories: prostitutes and maidservants, mercenaries and bandits, along with other “dubious” figures negotiating the boundaries of polite society. Painstakingly researched and breathlessly told, Habitual Offenders will delight historians and true-crime fans alike.

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In April 1644, two nuns fled Bologna’s convent for reformed prostitutes. A perfunctory archiepiscopal investigation went nowhere, and the nuns were quickly forgotten. By June of the next year, however, an overwhelming stench drew a woman to the wine cellar of her Bolognese townhouse, reopened after a two-year absence—where to her horro...

Craig A. Monson is the Paul Tietjens Professor Emeritus of Music at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of Nuns Behaving Badly and Divas in the Convent, also published by the University of Chicago Press. He lives in St. Louis.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:May 3, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022633533X

ISBN - 13:9780226335339

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“Monson is both a careful historian and a compelling narrator, helping us delve deeply into the daily lives of seventeenth-century Italians from all regions and walks of life. What emerges is a page-turner of a whodunit made especially compelling by Monson’s extraordinary and subtle ability to convey the diverse personalities of his many historical subjects and to plunge his reader into the world of early modern Italian culture.”